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Old 22-01-2010   #1
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Restoring the X

So I have a thread on the X1/9 board but bludvl pointed me this way and said I should start a progress thread over here.

Since there was a fair amount to read, I'll just condense it into one post.

So I bought my X1/9 as my first car, probably not the smartest decision ever since I have almost no idea about engines but dad is a home mechanic expert of sorts and owns a Citroen CX, so he knows his way around old, quirky cars.

Part of the reason I bought it was so that I could learn, so I guess I'm succeeding in that department so far.

Anyway, it had been sitting for 3 years when I bought it but it was in decent condition none-the-less. Except for the 3 years of dirt and other crap that collected on it:



There was more dirt than that photo can describe I'm still cleaning bits of it a month later that never got attention originally.

So there was a bunch of things wrong with it, the usual rust was there but only in small quantities. The brakes didn't/don't work, still working on that one but they're coming along nicely. Naturally the engine didn't start, but it turned over freely. Lately though I uncovered the fact that the coolant tank was empty and the engine oil was furked, so it's probably a good thing we couldn't get it started when I bought it.

So it had an ugly red pinstripe on it, something straight out of the 80's:



Which I removed, took a couple of hours but its definitely worth it:



The carpet on the drivers side had been removed in anticipation of a recarpeting but he uncovered rust so I'll take a stab and say that's where the interior make over stopped. The passenger side carpet was terribly shabby so I replaced that after recovering from new years:

Before:


After:


It's not the best job, but it's only temporary until redoing the interior moves up on my list. You can buy molded carpets on ebay for them so I'll probably do that when the time comes.

Currently the car is on axle stands, doing the brakes. Pistons are proving to be problematic since we couldn't pump them out with the brake pedal, but the rest is cleaning up nicely, after this weekend we should have the parts needed (master cylinders, pistons maybe and some seal kits) to reassemble, on order so the brakes aren't far from done - a few weeks. Then we can finally replace the fluids and have a go at getting the engine running.

You are now up to speed

Running total (AUD): $2994
car: 2700
battery: 109
headlights: 155
other: 30
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Old 23-01-2010   #2
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Re: Restoring the X

The new headlights are in, they don't work - didn't expect them to as the earth terminals are fairly rust, I'll have to come up with another solution for those since you can't get them anywhere that I've found. Finished painting the brake parts, just have to pull the calipers apart and see if they are salvageable - the two I've done so far are borderline, but I'm not really in a position to spend close to $1000 on calipers and pistons. Unless the last two are suffering I'll stick new seals in and give them a whirl and see if they leak - fingers crossed they don't.
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Old 29-01-2010   #3
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Re: Restoring the X

So I got a fair amount of work done today:

I finally got around to mending the front spoiler, since it is the lowest part at the front of the car it cops a fair bit of damage from gutters so it had a crack in the middle with a section missing from the wear and tear. I glassed that up and I will bog it up and sand it down before giving it a coat of paint so it's ready to go back on when the radiator is done. No pictures unfortunately since I forgot...

I pulled the radiator out too, since there was no coolant in the coolant tank I assumed it must have a leak and wasted expecting the torrents of perfectly clean coolant that gushed down over my arm into an inadequately big bucket, but at least there isn't a leak problem.

Overall, it's in good condition a little bit of rust on the frame but other than that it is all looking good, I'll give it some paint after a bit of treatment for it's rust problems so it looks all shiny and new and hopefully stays that way for a while at least. I spent the rest of the day cleaning up the fan... and procrastinating a bit too.

Before:


After:


It's so nice, shame you won't be able to see it as I drive past

Also did a fair bit of work on the brakes, just waiting on a master cylinder and a clutch slave before it will all go back together.

All the discs looked like this before grinding and painting the centre:


They now look like this, although they're starting to rust again in the places where I handled them, oh well, what can you do:
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Old 06-02-2010   #4
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Re: Restoring the X

looks great, love them wheels
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Old 10-02-2010   #5
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Re: Restoring the X

Quote Originally Posted by levemircento View Post
looks great, love them wheels
Thanks, I love the wheels too. I would prefer wire wheels though - they just really appeal to me.

So here are the belated photos of the front spoiler repair job:




(I actually sanded it down more than that.)



And by sheer luck more than anything, the paint I used to very similar to the rest of the pieces of the spoiler so they won't need to be repainted to match .

Working on finishing the radiator today and cleaning up the engine bay ready for us to start work there.

Ordered parts for my brakes from eBay the other day. New brake/clutch master cylinders aswell as a slave cylinder and threw in a heater tap since the previous owner said the one in there is broken and at a quick look he seems to be right - not that I'll ever have to use the heater here . Came to $230AUD total but that was about $160 cheaper than we could have got it from the Australian suppliers.

As a side note, my front grille needs replacing/repairing, if anyone knows any Australian sellers trying to get rid of one I'd like to hear about it.

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Old 10-02-2010   #6
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Exclamation Re: Restoring the X

this is awesome be a good thread to follow! watch this space!!
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Old 17-02-2010   #7
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Re: Restoring the X

Well this isn't actually anything new but the radiator is done however the fan switch didn't work when dad tested it the other day. Luckily though, for once, that is an easy part to get and I'll be able to get one at the local not-all-that-cheap cheap-car-part-store. But I'm not too worried.

Here is the radiator, all rust treated and painted with some fish oil in the bottom for the rust I couldn't get at. I just need it to last me until having it replaced/re-cored is feasible. I'd like to add a second fan to it if I can since they have some interesting cooling quirks and the summers here can push the limit even for modern cars.

Without further adieu:



Spiffy ey?

I spent some time under the front end on Sunday, (an awesome valentines day, I know) cleaning it up and rust proofing. No new rust to speak of so I dusted it off and sprayed fish oil into the seams all around. Going to paint some body deadener on there when the sun reappears so I can see without too much effort.

Expecting my brake parts this week/early next week. Still haven't ordered seal kits for the calipers yet though

I'll probably also get new tyres put on the wheels before they go back on, since the current ones are cracking despite minimum driving wear. Oh well.

Coming along nicely I think, the end isn't nigh but I can definitely see it.
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Old 18-02-2010   #8
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Re: Restoring the X

Well today has been great so far, wasn't really motivated to work on the car but when something I have been waiting for rolled up to the door step this morning, I just had to get cracking with it.



My brake parts
1 x Brake Master Cylinder
1 x Clutch Master Cylinder
1 x Clutch Slave Cylinder
1 x Heater Tap

$230 worth which is incredibly cheap - especially considering that includes postage... from Germany.

So I finally got around to prepping the nose section for the radiator to go back in. First I reassembled the radiator:



The only thing you haven't seen here is the support brace, which came out looking like this:



But I ground it down to bare metal and gave it a good spray of silver, it'll also get some body deadener on the bottom once I get it back into the car. I still need a new fan switch though, I just put it back in for now.

Then I set about painting body deadener underneath it, if you have ever painted above your head for an hour whilst propping yourself up on one elbow - you'll know how much fun it is *sarcasm*.



Maybe I shouldn't have used a 3/4 inch brush then...

So I'll have to wait until tomorrow to put the radiator back in because it's not particularly pleasant to get slimed with that stuff. Instead I set about reassembling the brake/clutch assembly which I had taken out to save myself the hassle of removing the cylinders while they were in the car still. Here is what it looked like when it came out:



And here is something what it will look like going back in, haven't put it back together properly yet because I just know dad would complain about how I did something and I'd have to take it apart anyway, just wanted to see if it all went back together well:



She cleans up nice ey?

The only other news I have is the photo of why my front spoiler can't go back in just yet:



There should be two bolt holes there, not a giant rusted hole. The dumb part is that if you look the only drainage hole for that corner is back up a bit which means that as soon as the car sits facing down a slight hill water can collect in that corner. Never fear, I shall be far more intelligent about putting drainage holes in it when we weld it up.

I was going to replace the earth connectors on the wires in the headlight boxes as well, but I can't find the crimping tool or the wire strippers so it'll have to wait until dad comes home to tell me where they are. That's all for now, I have to work tonight sadly so the fun can't continue past sun down.

Progress
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Old 08-03-2010   #9
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Re: Restoring the X

It's been a while since my last post and that is because I have been waiting for both parts and dad's help on the car. He decided to paint his own car for the French car show he is attending over Easter however the last 2 weeks have been wasted on hoping the rain will clear up enough to paint his doors. But that hasn't happened so today he has payed someone to do the paint job which means he now has time to help me this weekend, and wouldn't you know it I have some exciting parts. All I am missing now is rear caliper seal kits which I can get before the week is out if I order them tomorrow



That street directory is a bit smaller than a DVD case but a tiny bit thicker, so it'll actually fit in my glove box

I'm feeling very optimistic about getting the calipers reassembled this weekend, and back on its wheels by next
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Old 11-03-2010   #10
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Re: Restoring the X

Parts on order from Turin Imports in Adelaide An oil filter, a few air filters and the all important rear caliper seal kits should arrive tomorrow if everything goes to plan
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Old 11-03-2010   #11
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Re: Restoring the X

Hi,

omg that sure did clean up well,i good friend of mine had one of these but sadly never got round to getting back on the road keep up the hard work i look forward to more updates,

All the best Scuderia
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Old 11-04-2010   #12
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Re: Restoring the X

It's been a while, I know.

Unfortunately as you all know, I'm sure, real life takes precedence over our boyish needs to play with cars. No actual progress, I had hoped to largely reassemble the cabin over my Easter weekend and see if I could get some time for it in my mid-semester break but alas no such luck.

So the only news is that I bought two new radiator fans today. They're not original but they're lighter and move more air than the original fan, and of course there will be twice the cooling power They're coming from Melbourne so I'm expecting them on Tuesday. Parents should also be back home close to then so work may resume this coming Sunday (I have an exam on saturday, annoyingly).

Should mention the fans were inspired by this thread over on xweb: http://xwebforums.org/showthread.php?t=919&page=3

Which means you can expect my mounting solution to be identical
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Old 27-06-2010   #13
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Re: Restoring the X

Been doing a bit of work these last few days

It has been sort of slow going because we had to stop and buy tools that we needed a few times, but today I've given the engine a decent clean with solvent and a spray gun, it's not great but since it's about all I can do with the engine in I'll live with it for now. Also changed the timing belt which was a bit of an adventure and managed to rule out the dizzy as the cause of lack of ignition as it seems to be in proper order. Tomorrow I'm going to change the oil(s) and hook the radiator back up temporarily so that we can see if it will start.

Since that's not very exciting I took a picture of the cleaned engine:

BEFORE:


AFTER:
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Old 28-06-2010   #14
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Re: Restoring the X

Changed the engine oil today, but I accidentally over filled it because I was confused about how much should be in there then kept pouring it in ( I'm an idiot), but I'll let it sit over night because there was a lot less than the 4L came out so I'll see how much soaks into all the little nooks then drain some out.

Going to make one last call about welding tomorrow to an Alfa Romeo mechanic and see if he will do it/can recommend someone/a shop to do the work. After that we're out of options and have to take a stab at it ourselves.

Didn't get anything other than that done because my sister brought her Peugeot home leaking fuel at a disturbing rate, and being busy dad asked me to deal with it so it took an hour or so to jack it up and diagnose where the leak was coming from. With any luck it was only leaking because she overfilled the petrol tank before bringing it home because the mechanic says the part can be expensive.
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Old 30-06-2010   #15
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Re: Restoring the X

Check out the AWESOME condition of my parcel shelf speakers, they seem to be original but they've been rewired at some point and judging by the state of the wiring I'd be surprised if they worked even after being 'fixed'.



I'm going to replace them eventually, new speakers is first on my list of things to do inside (because parents bought be a $300 head unit for my birthday) followed by proper carpeting. But as much as I look I can't find any more sensible spots than the doors for speakers, and that limits them to about 4" and they also have to be fairly shallow as they will already need significant thickness spacers to stop them from touching the window when it's down:



(the overlayed speakers are approximately 4")

I also have this crazy idea to make an arm rest/cup holder, more likely just cup holder as it'll be set a bit far back to be an arm rest and I don't know if the fiberglass would be sturdy enough to lean on.
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